Browns hire Jackson as head coach


The Cleveland Browns' coaching search has come to an end with the appointment of Hue Jackson as Mike Pettine's replacement.

Cleveland confirmed the hiring of Jackson - who had served as the Cincinnati Bengals offensive co-ordinator for the last two seasons - on Wednesday, finalising the deal before he could interview with the New York Giants for their vacant head coach position.

"It's very exciting for us to name Hue Jackson as the head coach of the Cleveland Browns," Browns owner Jimmy Haslam said. "He embodies all the qualities that will provide strong leadership for our football team.

"He is highly experienced, deeply passionate about winning, and relentless in trying to find ways to put his players in the best position to succeed.

"He possesses that unique ability to reach the entire locker room in a way that demands accountability while getting the buy-in and team-first mentality that leads to positive results. I think our players will love playing for him."

The Browns conducted a second interview with Jackson on Tuesday after he first met with Cleveland's search committee last Sunday.

Jackson had reportedly been the "clear front-runner" for the head coaching job with the San Francisco 49ers and had an interview scheduled Wednesday with the Giants.

"What a tremendous honour and privilege to be the head coach of the Cleveland Browns and a part of the Dawg Pound," Jackson said.

"I'm so looking forward to it and have so many people to thank. Obviously Jimmy and Dee Haslam for this opportunity, going through the process of meeting [team executives] Sashi Brown and Paul DePodesta. What an exciting time to have an opportunity to work with people like that."

Jackson took over as the Oakland Raiders' head coach in 2011 and went 8-8 in his lone season before being fired at the end of the year. 

In addition to coaching college football for more than a decade, he has also had coaching stints with the Washington Redskins, Atlanta Falcons and Baltimore Ravens since entering the NFL in the 2001-02 season.

The Browns fired Pettine and general manager Ray Farmer on January 3 following another disappointing season that saw three different starting quarterbacks and was marred by ongoing off-field issues surrounding troubled second-year signal-caller Johnny Manziel.

Jackson has earned praise for his work with Bengals veteran quarterback Andy Dalton, so how he handles Manziel - if he handles him at all - will be a key story line in the new coach's tenure.